SGA creates class to improve effectiveness, work in committees

Photo by Mackenzie Evans

Amelia Bergeron

In order to increase productivity levels of Wilson’s Student Government Association (SGA), English teacher Natalie Zuravleff, Italian teacher Simona Spicciani, and 12th grade Assistant Principal Gregory Bargeman collaborated to create a class for SGA members. Now during third period, the class consists of 30 students of all grades who work on committees intended to formulate projects to help the Wilson community.

At the end of last year, Zuravleff, Spicciaini, and Bargeman began to formulate the curriculum for the SGA class, which they are still developing. “We are still kind of troubleshooting it and kind of figuring it out as we go, but for the most part we just wanted to really be effective and take SGA from this sort of… popularity contest and glorified party planning committee to something that is actually a policy-minded, student-led, empowering group,” Zuravleff said.

Students in the SGA class are split into different committees working on projects to help the Wilson community. The school improvement committee focuses on school beautification projects, the fundraising committee works on raising money, and the community service committee helps the student body give back to the community, such as fundraisers for Toys for Tots and Thrive DC. 

“My committee works on general school improvement, so we started a school beautification project,” said freshman Alex Cullins, a member of the school improvement committee.“We also started an initiative where we are trying to fix the problem with the soap in the bathrooms,” 

Students in the class spend the most time working with their committees, so projects as an entire group are less frequent. Although they work relatively independently creating documents, timelines, and generally planning, committees all check in with Zuravelff on Mondays to record their progress and get help if needed. 

Along with focusing on planning events for Wilson, the class also has a leadership program embedded into their curriculum where they look at current leaders through readings and videos. Zuravleff then asks students to write journal entries on the subjects to develop their leadership skills. “Integral to having a strong student government is having strong student leaders,” said Zuravleff.

Student body president Keymiah Armstrong really enjoys being part of the SGA class. “[There are] so many people in here that I have never seen before a day in my life and I get to interact with them and talk to them,” she said. “It’s just important to get to know people that you don’t know.” Cullins agreed.

Zuravelff, Cullins, and Armstrong believe that the class has increased productivity for SGA as a whole. “I think this is so helpful because honestly I couldn’t imagine not having this class if I was President last year because it’s just like we have so much to get done [in an] 80 to 90 minute period, like it’s almost not enough for some of the events that we need to plan,” Armstrong said.